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More Than They Really Need

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One of the complaints about the conflict between the baseball owners and players was that it was very difficult to sympathize with the millionaires against the billionaires, or vice versa.

Well, this list takes it to another level: Bill Gates lost almost 20% of his fortune this last year, but still has $43 billion for a rainy day according to Forbes.

    The Forbes 400 list will be published in the Sept. 30 issue of the magazine.

    Gates lost $11 billion last year, but still remained ahead of investor Warren Buffett — one of the few on the list to see his fortunes increase in a year when an economic recession brought a sharp drop in stock prices.

    Buffett holds the No. 2 spot, increasing his net worth from $33 billion to $36 billion.

    Rounding out the top 10 are Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen with $21 billion at No. 3, the five heirs to the late Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart fortune (each with $18.8 billion at No. 4), Oracle’s Larry Ellison with $15.2 billion at No. 9 and Microsoft President Steve Ballmer with $11.9 billion at No. 10.

    It took $550 million to make the list this year, $50 million less than in 2001,

    The total net worth of those on this year’s list is $872 billion, $74 billion less than last year.

    There are 46 women on the list, but style queen Martha Stewart is not one of them. With her legal troubles hurting the stock price of her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., she fell out of the group of America’s richest 400.

    Forbes said perennial list member Donald Trump consistently complains of the magazine undervaluing his fortune.

    “You’ve got way the wrong number,” he told Forbes this year, after the magazine reported the New York real estate magnate had a fortune of $1.9 billion.

    The youngest on the list is Daniel Ziff, 30, with an inherited fortune of $1.2 billion, while the oldest is investor Max Martin Fisher, 94, with $750 million.

I am torn between envy and inspiration.

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About Eric Olsen